Wiesbaden Forest Dedicated in the Negev.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The Wiesbaden Forest was dedicated at a ceremony conducted together with a delegation from the city of Wiesbaden and representatives from the Germany-Israel Friendship Association (DIG). “It’s awesome to see the desert becoming green,” said Christian Hill, the DIG Chairman in Wiesbaden, at the ceremony.
The Wiesbaden Forest, which forms a part of Lahav Forest
, was dedicated to commemorate the Jewish communities decimated during the Holocaust and to wish Israel and its inhabitants a peaceful future. The forest was planted thanks to the initiative of Monika Langner, who involved the community of Wiesbaden in the project. Langner was unable to join the present delegation and see the significant contribution first-hand.
“I’m pleased about this opportunity to cooperate with KKL-JNF in realizing the dream of Ben Gurion to plant forests and increase life in the Negev,” said Johannes Gerster, former member of the German Federal Parliament and Honorary Chairman of the Germany-Israel Friendship Association (DIG). “We must continue to work for the empowerment of Israel and support it in all situations,” said Gerster, who is known to be one of Israel’s greatest friends.
The delegation from Germany included sixteen representatives from the city of Wiesbaden, who came to Israel for a week of tours and hikes all over the country and for meetings, with the aim of getting to know the country better and strengthening their connection to it. For about half of the delegation, this was their first time in Israel.
The delegation was greeted by Elisha Mizrahi from KKL-JNF Public Relations. “This would not be considered one of the hotter days in September for the Negev, so you can only imagine how hard it is to grow a forest here,” he said under the scorching sun, as he led everyone to cover in the shade of one of the more mature trees in the forest.
This was a real-life example of how important it is to plant trees
in the region, notwithstanding the harsh conditions of scant precipitation, hot, arid summers and the great differences between day and night temperatures. A little shade and greenery is necessary everywhere, but in this desert in Israel it is especially important.
The visit was aptly summarized by Christian Hill, who expressed his sincere hope that many more towns in Germany would join forest planting projects and the struggle to combat desertification. The German delegation also walked the walk, and representatives of the group planted a new tree at the conclusion of the ceremony, a tree that will hopefully grow magnificently and symbolize the friendship between Germany and Israel and between Wiesbaden and Lehavim.
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